Friday, December 30

Barnes and Noble Trip...

Tuesday Junior and I made a mad dash into B&N while we were running errands.

I've been reading like a fiend since then, finishing 3 of the 8 books I bought. Which is pretty good considering I did lunch with the "Mommys" while Junior was at Vacation Bible School--lunch was great and he had a wonderful time. They had a birthday party for Jesus, crafts, games, a movie, pizza and a birthday cake, but I digress. We also had company yesterday (Thursday.) And, today I found myself putting away the Christmas gifts, running more errands and straightening up the house. As much as I love the holidays, I can't wait to rescue my poor house from the decorating chaos.

Getting back to the trip to B&N, here's what I picked up:

  1. Almost a Lady -- Jane Feather
  2. The Courtesan -- Julia Justiss
  3. Kill and Tell -- Linda Howard
  4. After Midnight -- Teresa Medeiros
  5. The Pregnancy Test -- Erin McCarthy
  6. Almost Perfect -- Julie Ortolon
  7. Just Perfect -- Julie Ortolon
  8. Too Perfect -- Julie Ortolon

Almost a Lady, I have no idea why I picked this up. Jane Feather used to be an autobuy for me, but I've been so disappointed by her last few books, I'd decided not to buy them new any more, apparently I couldn't stick with this decision.

The Courtesan, I saw this one on Kristie's Sidebar and thought it sounded interesting when I read the blurb.

Kill and Tell, well, I already have this one, someone recently blogged about it and I felt the need to do a reread, but I couldn't find my copy, so I bought a new one. I've already reread it, and I'm such a Linda Howard fangirl that the "condom" scene didn't bother me. It's not my favorite LH, but I still liked it.

After Midnight, this has been on my TLF list for a while and I've passed on it everytime I went to the bookstore, I finally decided to pick it up. I've really become hit or miss with Teresa Medeiros, so I'm hoping this one is a hit.

The Pregnancy Test, I've finished this one, and it's a fun, quick read. I like Erin McCarthy's writing style, it's sort of a chick lit meets funny contemporary romance.

Almost Perfect, Just Perfect, and Too Perfect, Julie Ortolon is not one of my favorite authors, I usually find her books just okay, not necessarily good or great. Kristie has been singing the praises of Almost Perfect for quite a while, so I thought I'd give this series a try. I'm just about finished with AP, and she's right it's very good. It wouldn't make my top 10, but it would probably make my top 25--which I think isn't bad.

We also picked up a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer book for Junior, I guess he didn't get enough stuff from Santa.

I have 4 gift cards left, so I'm looking forward to the following releases:

  1. The Silver Rose -- Susan Carroll
  2. Lover Eternal -- JR Ward
  3. The Unlikely Governess -- Karen Ranney (I actually think this one's been released since my trip to B&N)
  4. Flesh and Stone -- Vickie Taylor
  5. Devil in Winter -- Lisa Kleypas
  6. Lord Perfect -- Loretta Chase *edit*

We're going to my parents for New Years Eve, I know it sounds exciting--LOL. I'll be lucky if I make midnight, but we're staying over which makes Junior and Grandma real happy. But, before we go to Mom's I'm hoping to get my husband to swing by B&N for another looksee at what's new.

Lordy, this is a long one, sorry about that. Have a good one.


*edit*--added Lord Perfect after the original post.

Thursday, December 29

This Years Favorites...

Kristie's quick. She already has her top 10 listed. After going through my Just the Books (and nothing but the books so help me God) blog, I came up with my favorites, but I couldn't limit myself to 10 or 15. I hit 20, here they are in the order I read them:
  1. The Devil You Know To Pay -- Liz Carlyle, being a LC fangirl there would have to be a couple of her books on my list--oops, thanks Renee I didn't even realize I had listed it twice, since the list is in order, I had to fix this one.
  2. Dreaming of You -- Lisa Kleypas, not a new book, but new to me. It took me forever to find a copy of this book.
  3. Kiss of the Highlander -- Karen Marie Moning, another book new to me. I can't say I loved any of the others in the series, but this one was fantastic.
  4. The Rainbow Season -- Lisa Gregory, an oldie, but one I had never read. Wonderful western.
  5. Black Ice -- Anne Stuart, what's not to love about a Stuart.
  6. Body Electric -- Susan Squires, not new, but once again new to me, fascinating story concept.
  7. Veil of Night -- Lydia Joyce, one of my new favorite authors.
  8. If Angels Burn -- Lynn Viehl, another new favorite author, a great mix of horror and romance
  9. The Cobra and The Concubine -- Bonnie Vanak, this book got lousy reviews, but I enjoyed it. The setting and time period are wonderful.
  10. Carved in Stone -- Vickie Taylor, another new favorite author, this series has a wonderful premise.
  11. The Marriage Bed -- Laura Lee Guhrke, either you loved it or you hated it. I loved it, an emotional read from cover to cover.
  12. The Devil You Know -- Liz Carlyle, see 1.
  13. Passion -- Lisa Valdez, another new favorite, this books isn't just erotic, it has a great story, and you don't skip the sex scenes in this one.
  14. The Companion -- Susan Squires, my absolute favorite new author, I know she's not new, but she was new to me this year.
  15. Dark Lover -- JR Ward, the best kick off for a new series all year, amazing.
  16. The Dark Queen -- Susan Carroll, amazing setting and time period and wonderful writing.
  17. The Courtesan -- Susan Carroll, see 15.
  18. The Hunger -- Susan Squires, see 13.
  19. The Champion -- Elizabeth Chadwick, one of my all time favorite authors, her books are so hard to find, but totally worth it.
  20. Private Demons -- Lynn Viehl, see 7.

This was my year to discover paranormal. Of the 20 books 10 of them are either out right paranormals or have some paranormal activity.

When I look back, it was a good year for reading, let's hope 2006 is just as good.

So, what's on your favorites list?


The New Favorite...

This movie has moved to the top of my son's "Favorite" movie list. He has watched it 6 times since Christmas and asks to watch it several more times a day. I have to admit we are just as enthralled by it.

Tuesday, December 27

Three Days of Wonderful Chaos...

Today is the first day I've had a chance to sit and gather enough thoughts to actually blog about something.

This is first Christmas that Junior completely understood. We some how survived weeks of antsy anticipation leading up to 3 days of utter chaos.

Friday, the 23rd, was his first testing in Tae Kwon Do. He did a great job and will be getting his yellow belt in a belt ceremony this week. He was by far the youngest and smallest of the group testing, and he received a tremendous amount of attention from the audience, because, well, he's just so cute. The quote of the evening was "Ah, he's adorable." After the testing was finished there was a Christmas party that followed and a visit with Santa.

Saturday, the 24th, was my 42nd birthday. My wonderful husband and "adorable" son took me out to breakfast and then we were off to my M&FIL's house for Christmas Eve. A wonderful time was had by all and the kids got tons of gifts and all were little angels. It was late by the time we left the in-laws' house, but Junior seemed wide awake, talking a mile a minute about how excited he was that Santa was coming and he couldn't wait to put out cookies and chocolate milk for Santa and, of course, we wouldn't forget carrots for the reindeer. And, the next thing we knew he was sound asleep in his car seat. Since he was sleeping we made sure that Santa's and the reindeer's snacks were left out.

Christmas morning--some of you may have noticed I did some blog hopping Christmas morning. Hard to believe right? Junior got up at 5:00 announced Santa had come, crawled into our bed and promptly feel back to sleep until 6:30. Amanda, I can't believe your kids slept until 8:30--LOL. The secret must be going to Midnight Mass. We'll have to try that when Junior gets older.

The amazing Santa somehow managed to bring everything that Junior asked for, isn't that great?

We went to 9:00 Mass Christmas morning, picked my parents up at 11:45 and then headed to my sisters for a fabulous Christmas Day.

Yesterday, we spent the day crashing and playing on the living room floor with all of Junior's loot.

Today, we are off to Barnes and Noble--Mama got 6 gift cards between her birthday and Christmas--can you see me doing a "Happy, Happy Dance"?

I hope everyone's Christmas wishes came true.


Friday, December 23

Merry Christmas To All...

I have no idea if I'll be back on-line anytime soon. Junior has his first Tae Kwon Do testing tonight and a Christmas party follows. Tomorrow we are going out to breakfast and then we are heading to the in-laws for the day. And, on Christmas Day we are off to my sister's after Mass.

Wishing all my on-line friends a wonderful, and very Merry Christmas.

Peace and Love to all,


Two Little Lies by Liz Carlyle

Yesterday morning while in the shower I got a call from my local bookseller--Liz Carlyle'sTwo Little Lies is in, but remember they're closing for 3 weeks starting Christmas Eve, so get in ASAP if I want it before Christmas. Well, needless to say it was my first stop while running errands.

I must say I was very good, I didn't even attempt to pick it up until after I took Junior to Tae Kwon Do, cooked dinner, cleaned up and wrapped the last of the Christmas presents, this time I mean it--the last of the Christmas presents--yeah.

At 9:30 last night I started reading, read 60+/- pages and put it down for the night. I woke up around 4 this morning and started reading. It's a long separation, secret baby story, beautifully written, but there is an underlying sadness to the story that is palpable on every page. The h/h are together when they are young, he's 21 and she's 24, both are completely in love and yet doesn't trust the other and they go their seperate ways, the book is set 9 years later. I'm half way through the book and find myself on the verge of tears constantly.

I'll finish it today, but I will need to read something really uplifting next.

Have a good one, and happy reading.


Thursday, December 22

"Done" is never really done...and 7 things...

I haven't been on-line in days. When I don't blog or at least blog hop on a daily basis I feel like something is wrong and I start to get anxious. Silly I know, but it's very relaxing for me.

Last week I said I was ready for Christmas, now I really am almost ready for Christmas. The teacher baskets were put together and wrapped up on Tuesday and delivered yesterday. Almost all the presents are wrapped and I still have 2 more batches of cookies to bake, and then all those cookies need to be packaged--this year I went with decorative Chinese Food Boxes, instead of tins of goody bags. I picked them up at Michael's this week and each one will hold about a dozen cookies.

Today was the first time I've blog hopped since last Friday and I discovered I'd been tagged for the, so here goes:

Seven things to do before I die:

  1. Watch my son grow up to be a good man and provide me with lots of grandchildren.
  2. Travel--anywhere and everywhere.
  3. Take better advantage of NYC--theater, museums, restaurants etc. We live so close, but rarely get there.
  4. Take my husband and son on the subway, this goes hand in hand with number 4. My husband is 47 years old and has lived within driving distance of NYC his entire life and has never been on a subway. My son the train fanatic will love it.
  5. Play all 32,000 games of Freecell in numerical order, I'm up to 6001.
  6. Read Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness series, they are currently mocking me from my TBR pile.
  7. Find the back way from the Woodbury Commons to Seven Springs Road--I normally have an excellent sense of direction, but for some reason this completely eludes me.
  8. Get along with my SIL from Hell.

Went over, but 3 & 4 are really only one.

Seven things I can not do:

  1. I can't send Junior to bed without lots of hugs and kisses.
  2. I refuse to go grey.
  3. Will never eat tongue, tripe, mutton or lamb.
  4. Climb Mount Everest.
  5. Camp in a tent.
  6. Find the back way from the Woodbury Commons to Seven Springs Road.
  7. Get along with my SIL from Hell.

Seven things that attract me to my spouse:

  1. He loves me and Junior unconditionally.
  2. His sense of humor.
  3. His decency and work ethic.
  4. His sense of humor.
  5. His broad shoulders and beautiful green eyes
  6. Did I mention his sense of humor--he makes me laugh every day of my life.
  7. His family--with the exception of the SIL from Hell--LOL. Though she showed up in the family long after we were married.

Seven thing's I say most often:

  1. My son's name or any variation of his numerous nicknames.
  2. "I Love You!!"
  3. "Get in the house Pete."--Pete's our cat and he loves to sleep on our front porch, but I refuse to allow him to go completely outside into the cold cruel world.
  4. "God, give me strength." My mom said this over and over again on a daily basis, as a kid I had no concept as to why--I now completely understand.
  5. "Oh, my God."
  6. "Please don't walk in the snow/puddle, DON'T walk in the snow/puddle, get in the car, get in the car, OH MY GOD, get in the car, get in your seat, get in your seat, will you please get in your seat, GOD, GIVE ME STRENGTH--GET IN YOUR SEAT."
  7. "Do I have to repeat myself over and over?" Apparently I do.

Seven books I love (in no particular order):

  1. Almost anything by Linda Howard--don't make me pick one.
  2. Almost anything by Liz Carlyle...
  3. Almost anything by Eloisa James...
  4. Marsha Canham's Robin Hood Trilogy.
  5. Mrs. Mike
  6. Pride and Prejudice...Emma...Sense...
  7. Shakespeare's comedies
  8. Jane Eyre--oops I went over.

Seven movies I watch over and over again:

  1. A&E's (BBC's?) Pride and Prejudice
  2. Twelve Angry Men
  3. The Odd Couple
  4. Rear Window
  5. The Mummy
  6. The Quiet Man
  7. Tombstone, JFK, Carl Sagan's Cosmos, Ken Burn's Civil War Series--please not these are not by choice, my husband watches all of these on a regular basis, and somehow I seem to have no choice in the matter.

Tag seven people...

  1. Amanda
  2. Erika
  3. Maili--she's out there somewhere
  4. 5. 6. 7. And, anyone else who would like to do this.

Have a good one and happy reading!!

Friday, December 16

200 Books...and a few other thoughts...

I've finally hit the 200 books read mark. Considering I finished November at 196, 4 books in 16 days isn't great, but I'm rather relieved to reach the milestone. Not that I set a goal for the year, but once I realized I was close to 200, I wanted to hit it.

I seem to be on a rereading kick, nothing new is holding my attention, with Christmas this close, it seems my attention span is that of my son's--non-existent. I also seem to be into cad heros. Reread Laura Lee Guhrke's Guilty Pleasures and The Marriage Bed and plan to read Eloisa James' Your Wicked Ways. I love a good cad in complete need of redemption. TMB and YWW both have cheating husbands, men who went elsewhere when their marriages were falling apart. I can't really explain why these stories work for me, it's not something I'd accept in my own marriage and a contemporary with this plot would probably hit a wall and rather hard at that.

I feel somewhat like Cindy. My sleeping schedule is shot to hell. I'm falling asleep before 9 pm and am up for the day between 3:30 and 4:00 in the morning. I shouldn't be complaining as this is when I've been reading.

I finally feel like I've got the Christmas situation under control. I need to pick up 5 gift cards, 3 for the teachers from the class, and put together 2 gift baskets for the grandparents, and that's it--I AM DONE. Thank God.

Have a good one, I probably wont have much time to be on this weekend, happy reading to all.


Wednesday, December 14


I'm envious of people who can write good book reviews. You can click on just about any blog on my sidebar and find a person who writes wonderful reviews, with great synopses and perfect grading. I, for some reason, am incapable of doing this.

I know I write lousy reviews, what can I say? I'm lazy and can't be bothered to pass on all the info a good reviewer should. But, in addition to being a lousy reviewer, I also suck at deciding on a grade. I have a tendency to see books through black and white eyes. Either it's an A or a B or it's complete failure. Does this go back to my school days and an obssession with good grades? Maybe. It's one of the reason I don't give grades or stars, I'm not sure I'm even being objective.

I'm also incredibly envious of people who are organized enough to find time to read during the busy holiday season. It seems like every waking minute is filled with getting ready for Christmas.
  • Shopping--done
  • Decorating--done
  • Wrapping--just about done
  • Baking--havent even thought about

This has left little to no reading time. When asked what I want for Christmas, I say 1. B&N Gift Cards, 2. someone to help get all this stuff finished. I can't complain about my husband, he's done almost all of Junior's Christmas shopping. And, somehow I was tricked into getting the teacher gifts for school. I get to collect the money and buy something from the whole class. Can anyone say AMEX Gift Cards??

Got to go, books are due back at the Library, Junior has school and it's -8 degrees this morning--that's just not right.

Have a good one, hopefully someone out there is reading.


Sunday, December 11

Linda Howards newest...

Cover of Night-- Release date June 27, 2006


In a picturesque small town, young widow and mother, Cate Nightingale owns and operates a struggling guest house. Occasionally, she enlists the aid of a mysterious, strong, and enigmatic handyman, Calvin Harris. When a trio of brutal thugs invade her inn, demanding the possessions of a guest who vanished days before, Cal proves much bolder than Cate would have ever expected. Though Calvin manages to disperse the intruders, the men regroup and shut down phone access to the entire village, holding its citizens hostage. In a desperate bid for survival, Cate and Cal strike out on their own, seeking help from a neighbouring town. As their daring journey unfolds, Cate is astonished to witness Cal's evolution from reticent carpenter to fearless protector. Is there more to her mysterious handyman than meet the eye?

This fangirl can't wait.

Found the link for this through Erika and instead of posting the link I decided to post the whole synopsis.

ps--how do you like the font size changes?? I feel like Megan--LOL. I thought a new LH title needed to be Huge.

Saturday, December 10

What the heck is wrong with me...

I was once again underwhelmed by an Anne Gracie book. I keep telling myself I should have loved The Perfect Waltz and yet I found it lacking. The reviewer at AAR didn't find it lacking, she thought it was a keeper. Kathe Robin over at RT gave it 4 stars and a "sensual" rating, which I'm really confused about, did we read the same book? There's one sex scene and it's in the last 20 pages, is a sweet rating only for books with kisses? Probably, I'll have to check that out.

Maybe I'm disappointed because there wasn't enough sex, which kind of surprises me because like Kristie, I often skip sex scenes altogether. I hate to admit I skimmed this one, by the time it finally showed up I was no longer interested. The main character's sexual chemistry seems to get lost with all the peripheral goings on--1. a secondary romance, that may have made a more interesting main romance. 2. another flirtation with a different couple. 3. The hero's abused little sisters, found after a 10+ year separation. 4. An orphanage filled with sad little girls--too much stuff.

I wanted to like this book and the previous one in this series, The Perfect Rake. Ms. Gracie has a nice writing style and voice, but this just didn't work for me.

Friday, December 9

Oh, Oh, Oh, one of the neighbors...

just plowed out the end of all the driveways on our street with a snow blower! How nice was that?

We've got an electric snow thrower which is great for the walks and driveway, but the stuff the plow dumps at the end of the driveway is too much for it's little engine.

The snow has stopped and the sun is out. We got over a foot of snow total. Junior had a great time helping me clean-up.

Maybe we'll have a White Christmas this year, that would be great.

Snow, Snow, Snow Everywhere

We've had a couple of small snows, 2 or 3 inches in the last couple of weeks, but right now it's snowing with a vengence, 8 inches on the ground and more coming down. Junior wants to play in the snow, but I left his mittens in the van, I better get them in and warm them up.

Wednesday, December 7

A Reading Experiment...

Last week, while wandering aimlessly through the UBS, I'd forgotten to bring my "to look for" list, I was lulled by 3 beautiful covers, I know, covers aren't my thing, but these were beautiful and obviously books with medieval settings. I bought them without even reading the blurb.

Not necessarily a good move. I read the blurb of the first book and thought "I'm not so sure about this." But, I've decided to read them anyway. I started My Champion last night. I'm still not sure about the plot and story line, but I like Ms. Campbell's writing style and voice.
And, this got me thinking. What's more important a good writing style or a good plot and story line? Obviously when you get both in the same book, the book's a winner, but if both aren't there which is more important?
I'm starting to think, for me, good writing trumps a good plot.

Earlier this week AngieW blogged about getting an ARC of the new Marjorie J. Lui book, it's book two in the Tiger Eye series. I think I'm one of the few people in romance blogland that hated Tiger Eye. The plot and story line were great, but I couldn't get past her writing style and voice, at least for that book, I really enjoyed her A Taste of Crimson, it almost seemed like a different person wrote it. Tiger Eye had the worst line I've ever read in a contemporary/paranormal, "My codpiece is full of love." I'm never going to forget it or the book literally hitting the wall when I threw it across the room. Now, the other end of the spectrum. Cindy blogged about Liz Carlyle's Beauty Like The Night. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, never once did I see the flaws she did, and I've read this book 2 or 3 times. And, I was left wondering why, I new the answer immediately--a beautiful writing style and voice.

Back to Glynnis Campbell's My... series. I went in search of reviews, RT--good, now there is a shock--LOL. And AAR and Mrs. G--not good at all. But, all seemed to think the books had potential and a good writing style. So, were does that leave me? Doing a little experiment. Hey at least I'm reading again.

Have a great day and happy reading.


Tuesday, December 6

The book count...

The book count still hasn't changed, I've still not read anything in several days.

Well, I guess that's not really true, I'm wondering if I can add:

  1. Madeline
  2. Chicka Chicka BOOM BOOM
  3. The Cranky Day and Other Thomas the Tank Engine Stories
  4. Alexander and the Terrrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day
  5. The Stinky Cheese Man

to my Just the Books list. Probably not.


Monday, December 5

Christmas Tree Brunch and no time to read.

We've been having brunch the first or second weekend in December for years. After we eat, we head out to buy Christmas Trees at a local farm. We've been buying our trees at the same farm for 20+ years and my in-laws always made such a fuss about how great our trees were and how long they lasted that we invited them to go with us and thus "The Christmas Tree Brunch" day was started. It was a great day, everyone got beautiful trees, the kids and some of the adults (my husband) got hot cider and cookies, and my SIL and her family came back afterward and we got Chinese take-out.

I haven't picked up a book for 3 days and stopped at my local bookstore today in the hope that she had the new Liz Carlyle--nope, she can't even get the darned thing yet. I think she gets her books through Ingram and they say it hasn't been released yet, but I'm sure I've seen it in a couple of other stores, but didn't pick it up when I saw it, *please note I'm kicking myself.* I did pick up the new RT and I'll probably post something about it when I get a chance, maybe tonight after Junior goes to bed, when I should be wrapping gifts. The shopping is just about finished, but nothing is wrapped yet.

I have 6 library books sitting on my nightstand and not one is even remotely interesting. Well, they're probably interesting, I'm just not interested right now. I'm hoping I'm not getting into a rut, I keep telling myself I'm not interested in anything because it's December and I've got tons to do, but I'm not sure.

Have a great day, and happy reading.


Saturday, December 3

I should be cooking...

We're having my husbands family for brunch this morning, I should be down in the kitchen cooking onions an mushrooms for a vegetable frittata. Instead I'm blog hopping and checking out some message boards and review sites, and getting annoyed.

Reviewer's missing the point of character development to the overall plot of a story. Reader's not getting that horror/romances are supposed to be creepy and at times icky and yucky. And it seems like no one gets the heroine age thing no matter how much poor Maili tries to educate us. And Erika, you're right the age of consummation doesn't matter if the older man thinks of the heroine as a daughter, 14, 17 or 27 there is a yuck factor there.

I've got to go--clean the bathroom, take a shower, run out for bagels and start cooking.

Have a great day and happy reading.


November Books

List of books read in November:
  1. Not So Innocent -- Laura Lee Guhrke
  2. Sacrament -- Susan Squires
  3. The Companion -- Susan Squires
  4. The Music of the Night -- Lydia Joyce
  5. The Colorado Kid -- Stephen King
  6. Hot Spell -- Anthology
  7. Killing Time -- Linda Howard
  8. Blue Smoke -- Nora Roberts
  9. Superstition -- Karen Robards
  10. Beauty Like The Night -- Liz Carlyle (reread)
  11. Red Lily -- Nora Robards
  12. Reckless -- Shannon Drake (couldn't finish)
  13. The Argentine Lover -- Samantha Winston
  14. Kiss Me, Annabelle -- Eloisa James
  15. The Devil to Pay -- Liz Carlyle (reread)

November, 15 books read to date

YTD--196 books read.

Thursday, December 1

Braving the Evil Empire

I have a love/hate relationship with Wal*Mart. As someone who owned a small business for several years, I hated hearing "I can get something just like it at Wal*Mart for half the price." Oh yeah, well, it wont be a one of a kind American handmade, so there, mentally sticking my tongue out... I could go on about low wages, pushing out mom and pop business etc. but most people know all this. And, yet I still on occasion find myself walking through their doors.

It has always been my store of last resort or the place I head to avoid having to make 10 different stops. Tuesday I dragged Junior there, bought him a Happy Meal at the McDonalds in the entry, sat him down in the cart, and proceeded to finish shopping for the "Stocking Stuffers." We don't exchange gifts with the adults in the family, but I do buy little things to give from Junior, candles, CD's, etc. We also needed printer paper, labels, transfer paper, ink cartridges and a few groceries--so we ended up at Wal*Mart...

Of course, if you're there you have to check out the books. And, shock of shocks, what is sitting right there for anyone to pick up is the mm edition Emma Holly's Strange Attractions.

I have SA in trade paperback and enjoyed the book, even though at the time I read it I only said it was okay, well, it was a really well written okay, and the only reason at the time I thought "okay" was it ends without a clearly defined monogamous relationship, which I consider a must for a romance, and yet, the more I thought about it, that was part of the point of the story. I know this all sounds rather vague, but it's an interesting story with a major hero, a minor hero (both of whom are bi-sexual) and a heroine who is willing to try just about anything. I would have been happy if the major hero ended up with either the minor hero or the heroine, but both left me scratching my head in a now where is this going to go sort of way.

Later in the day while Junior was at Tae Kwon Do, I ran to my UBS/Indie bookstore and picked up Samantha Winston's The Argentine Lover which I had them special order for me from Ellora's Cave. TAL turned out to be a sweet, poignant story about a young couple finding love on the Polo circuit. And even though the sex is incredibly "HOT," it's still a sweet story, which is rather nice and not necessarily expected in an erotic romance.

Where am I going with all of this? How does Wal*Mart determine that they will sell an erotic romance published by Berkley, but not Ellora's Cave? It seems to me Strange Attractions would be more shocking to most of what they would consider "mainstream" consumers. Or did this one simply fly under their sensorship radar?

My deep thought for the day and maybe the week--LOL.

Have a good one and happy reading.


Tuesday, November 29

Jay's Book meme...

Last week I said I would attempt this, but didn't get to do it before the Thanksgiving holiday. My DH was home for 5 straight days, I was thrilled when he went back to work yesterday. Finally, today I'm back on a normal schedule. I hadn't blog hopped in 6 days, just popped in an out of a couple of blogs when I had time. It took my 7 days to finish 2 books.

Okay, here goes, Jay's book meme:
  1. 99% of what I read is romance, it's what I like, it's what I read. If that makes me a girly girl so be it.
  2. I pay little or no attention to character description and rarely visualize the hero and heroine.
  3. I love dialogue with the exception of Catherine Coulter's overly witty converstations, I perpetually feel somehow out of the loop.
  4. I don't crack or crease the spines of my books if I can help it.
  5. I could care less abou the size of a book, paperback, trade, hardback, I read them all.
  6. Nothing keeps me from buying books, not even food, if I really want it I buy it--though I am getting more and more from the library, which makes my husband happy as he likes to eat.
  7. I rarely buy a book by it's cover.
  8. I've gotten to the point cover art doesn't bother me, except those really bad ebook covers--those are just creepy.
  9. I'd take a good medieval over any other romance sub-genre.
  10. I still read Nora Roberts even though her trilogies are faithful to the Nora formula--comfort read, what can I say.
  11. I don't read NR's alter ego, JD Robb any more, though I love Rourke, Eve was starting to annoy me.
  12. I don't read Jayne Ann Krentz for the same reason I read NR--formula, I can't explain it.
  13. Linda Howard will be an auto buy until she retires, though I'm not buying her in hardback anymore.
  14. I have a love/hate relationships with series, either I love them...Julia Quinn, Liz Carlyle, Eloise James or hate them...Feehan, Kenyon.
  15. Give me an alpha hero over a beta any day of the week.
  16. As long as the heroine isn't TSTL, I don't care what type of personality she is.
  17. I don't leave the house without a book, you never know when you'll be stuck in traffic, though I refuse to read and drive at the same time.
  18. I reread keepers on a regular basis.
  19. I usually use whatever is at hand as a bookmark, even though I have a great cat and mouse bookmark, and if I can't find anything I'll remember the last page.
  20. When riding in the car with my husband, I'll sit in the back seat and read so I can ignore his lousy driving (though he claims to be the world's best driver--LOL--hopefully he wont read this.)
  21. It took me years to give up reading the last few pages of a book first.
  22. I love Susan Johnson's historical footnotes.
  23. I love book dedications.
  24. I always read the "coming soon" sections.
  25. I read in bed with a flashlight, just like when I was a kid.

If I think about it I could probably come up with a few more, but 25 sounds like a nice round number.

Have a great day and happy reading.


Sunday, November 27

Will the real Santa Claus please stand up...

Yesterday morning Junior and I ran to the supermarket. Next door is a drug store that was doing pictures with Santa. So we went over and had his picture taken and he told Santa what he wanted for Christmas, "Thomas and the Jet Engine" which we "know" Santa has already gotten for him.

While we were grocery shopping he announced, "That wasn't really Santa."

Without a beat, I told him, "I know, that was one of Santa's elves. You know Santa can't be at every event, so he sends his elves to help out. You'll know when it's the real Santa."

I thought that was a pretty good save, but I'm sure he'll ask the next Santa he visits if he's the real one or an elf.

I'm not sure how much blogging or reading I'll be getting done this month. We entertain just about every weekend between now and New Years. Crazy, but we love it.

Have a great day and happy reading,


Thursday, November 24

Happy Thanksgiving!

A quick wish that everyone have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

The snow has stopped, the bird is in the oven and the table is set.

Have a great day and if you have enough time to read--Enjoy!!


Tuesday, November 22

Romantic Suspense--good, but not great

Killing Time by Linda Howard, Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts and Superstition by Karen Robards--the three romantic suspense novels I've read in the last week. I guess the Linda Howard could be called a time travel, but it's still a romantic suspense too.

What do these three books have in common? They were all good, entertaining reads, not very good, not great, but nice solid reads. I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, on one hand I find myself entertained and that should be good enough, and yet on the other, I'm disappointed the books weren't better. Each and every one had the potential of becoming very good or great, but never quite got there.

I find this to be true with most romantic suspenses. I'm rarely wowed and yet I'm still entertained. Does this make sense? Are my expectations too high?

That's it for now, more deep thoughts later, after I clean the house.

Have a good one and happy reading,


question of the day...

Like most cute and precocious 4 year olds, my child comes up with the funny, little question and statements each day.

On the ride to school yesterday the question of the day was:
  • How many F's are there in "Enough is Enough"? And before I could answer he announced 20, which was fine because at that point I didn't want to explain gh=f.

While playing at a friends house the statement of the day was:

  • "You should really rethink that." This came out when his best friends brother started pounding on the floor with a plastic hockey stick.

It does my heart good that he's actually listening, but I'm not sure I like hearing my own words--LOL.

One more thought on parenting. When I was a kid, if my mom was still cleaning the house when we got home from school, it was a sign we were getting company. But, we knew better than to ask who was coming over, this would really piss mom off. It was a sure way of hearing, "What do you think I only clean the house when we're having company?" So as I'm cleaning today getting ready for Thursday, my son just asked, "Mommy, you're cleaning who's coming over?" I chose not to be annoyed.

"The Mother's Curse." It really works.

Monday, November 21

Today's going to be a busy one...

First, I want to say I had a great time guest blogging on RTB, and was relieved that people commented, thanks ladies.

School day, but also "The Thanksgiving Songfest" day. I drop him off early and come back at 10:30 an hour early, considering we live a 1/2 hour from school it's not worth coming home and going back. I'll take some digital pictures and post them tonight. My kid's a huge ham. I think I'll bring a book and just wait. It'll give me an hour and a half to read, maybe that's enough time to finish Karen Robards' SuspicionSuperstition. I've been on a romantic suspense kick. I'll have to blog about it tomorrow.

After school, we're heading to a mega store (that one I love to hate) to pick up some Thanksgiving supplies and need to start cleaning the house. My husband wants to use our back porch, he thinks we need the space, now I need to find somewhere else to hide and store all the Christmas presents we've already purchased, not an easy thing considering we have a old house with next to no closets.

My Mom is driving me crazy, she's been watching too much Food network and especially too much Alton Brown. She wants me to brine the turkey for Thursday. I'll be happy if I can get everything cooked and on the table at the same time.

I've got to go or we'll be late.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Sunday, November 20

A Little of This and a Little of That

I was surprised when I received an email saying my guest column was up today over on Romancing The Blog. I submitted it last week, for some reason I didn't expect it to be up so fast.

Instead of getting ready for Thanksgiving, which is at our house this year, I've been reading. I finished Hot Spell, Killing Time and Blue Smoke. I'm posting them over on the sidebar, but I'm trying to come up with something coherent to say about them in an actual blog. But, I'm starting to get a little panicky about the holidays.

I haven't really started thinking about what to make for Thanksgiving. We went to Mass last night, so I'm heading food shopping this morning. My husband just saw on the news that we're expecting a Nor'Easter on Tuesday (just rain) and maybe some accumulating snow north and west of NYC on Thanksgiving--that's us. Sixteen people for dinner and it may snow--I'm not a happy camper.

Got to get in the shower and get shopping. Have a great day and happy reading.

Thursday, November 17

Library Reading and Mary Jo Putney's Stolen Magic

Tuesday I made a trip back to the library and picked up:
  • Killing Time -- Linda Howard
  • Superstition -- Karen Robards
  • Son of a Witch -- Gregory Maguire

I also put on reserve:

  • The new Candice Proctor historical mystery
  • The new Gabaldon
  • The new Anne Rice (what can I say, I'm curious)
  • Wives and Daughters recommended by Anne E.
  • Blue Smoke -- Nora Roberts

The librarian called today to let me know the NR's book is available, which kind of surprised me because I was 300 on the list, but it turns out that was for the entire library district and I was actually first on the list for the copy at our library.

So, tomorrow I'll be returning Mary Jo Putney's Stolen Magic and picking up the NR. Amanda asked me to comment on it.

I'm going to start out by saying the book isn't in front of me and I can't remember the characters full names, not good sign. MJP is a good writer, the story is well written, but it's painfully slow and it was work for me to finish. I thought the review over at RT was generous, 4 stars, but, it must be me, because the review over at AAR is a B+. Though, the reviewer over at AAR thought that the story bogged down at times, but not enough to detract from the story. I did like the unicorn and maiden theme. So if you can get passed the slowness of the story, you'll probably like this one.

I've already started Linda Howard's Killing Time, maybe I'll have time to finish it before bed.

Have a great night and happy reading.

Wednesday, November 16

Some days are better than others...

This may be somewhat meandering, but it's been a rough day. I'm going to start by saying Junior is fine.

It didn't start out so bad. I was up early (5:30) took a shower and actually got Junior to school early. I picked up Hot Spell yesterday at the UBS/Indie bookstore, bought it new, not used, and started Meljean's Falling for Anthony, but didn't have time last night to finish it. Brought the book with me thinking I'd read while Junior was in school and decided at the last minute to do some Christmas shopping instead, I'm horribly behind, normally I'm finished, wrapped, with the Christmas cards written and ready to go out.

I barely made it back to school by 11:30, traffic was horrendous. And when I walked into the school the Assistant Director said I was to go straight into the classroom. Oh boy, somethings wrong.

Not 2 minutes before I got to school, Junior was running back to his seat after storytime and fell. He hit his jaw against his chair and fell backwards hitting his head on the floor. And, he was hysterical, which is so unusual for him, but falling in general is unusual for him (he's very coordinated and rarely falls or hits his head, he's not one of those kids covered in bruises) and he had really worked himself up. I get him settled down and we head for home. And once in the car he falls asleep.

Well, that made me nervous, so when we got home I called the pediatrician. The nurse there tells me to wake him every 1/2 hour and make sure he recognizes me and if he starts to throw up I'm to take him straight to the emergency room. At 12:30 I woke him, he gripes at me but talks to me for a minute--I know he's okay. At 1:00 I had a hard time waking him up and I couldn't get him to focus on me. So I put him back in the van and head to the emergency room. At this point I've talked to my husband twice and he's on a job site an hour and a half away.

Junior sleeps all the way to the emergency room, wakes up when we get there, wants to know "What's this place and why are we here?" Now, I'm sure he's fine, but since we're there I decided it's better to be safe than sorry. Two hours later we have a clean bill of health and directions to keep as quiet as possible for the next 72 hours. He's got a wicked scrape and bruise on his jaw, but he's none the worse for wear.

The people at the ER were amazingly nice and thankfully it wasn't too busy. It turned out the admittance clerk sent her kids to the same preschool and the ER doctor was the one who helped save my dad's life--an excellent doctor. One day I'll blog about my dad's medical miracle, I've started to a couple of times but I usually end up in tears before I can actually get anything written.

Junior is fine, but he is very upset about missing Tae Kwon Do tomorrow.

After he went to bed, I got to finish Falling for Anthony. It was very good. I really like Meljean's writing style and you can't go wrong with a paranormal that has Guardians (Angels), a demon, a newly turned vampire and a nosferatu, I don't have the book in front of me so I hope I spelled that correctly.

Meljean, if you read this, you hit the horror mark when Anthony is attacked on the battlefield--nicely done. I'm looking forward to seeing where you take Lilith and Hugh.

I'm taping Lost, so I can go to bed, have a good night and happy reading.

Tuesday, November 15

Preconceptions, Good vs. Evil and Complete Ambivalence

I've blogged about this before, I try not to search out reviews before starting a new book, this way I can avoid being overly influenced by other readers and yet many of the books on my TBR come from reader blog recommendations. Basically, it comes down to this, if the book is by an auto buy author I don't bother to look for or read a review, if I come across one I'll read it, but it probably wont influence me one way or another. If it's written by a hit or miss author I'll check around for a synopsis, and if it's a new to me author I'll take the recommendations of different readers that I've found have similar taste to mine. It's a little convoluted, but it works for me.

All of this is a long winded way of saying I really try to avoid having preconceptions about a book. But, sometimes this is impossible to avoid, sometimes it's the back blurb of the book that causes the preconception.

I knew I was going to like this book before I cracked the cover. I love sports related romances especially sports related romances by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I thought it was a little long, but I was finishing it at 1:00 this morning and that may have something to do with this thinking.

For the past month I've been trying to read Patti O'Shea's Through a Crimson Veil. It's the 3rd book in the Crimson City series. And for the life of me, I haven't been able to figure out why it's not working for me. She has a great writing style and I should be loving this book. Yesterday, it finally hit me--I have preconceived ideas about demons. The hero and the heroine of this book are 1/2 demon, and for me demons have always fallen under the evil category in the grand good vs. evil scheme of things. Why I should think differently about demons than say ghosts, vampires or werewolves? I have no idea. It probably has something to do with religious faith, which in and of itself becomes a little heavy for blog that talks about romance reading, kids and other occasional musing.

And this brings me to my third profound thought of the morning. I'm wondering if the best way to come at reading a book is to be completely ambivalent, not really, but it's a concept. I haven't read Mary Jo Putney in years. For some reason I completely lost interest in her historicals and I've only read one of her contemporaries, and I can honestly say it pissed me off to the point I stopped reading her altogether. Somewhere along my web hopping I heard she had written a romantic fantasy. When I saw it at the library yesterday, I picked it up, I have absolutely no idea what it's about, but I'm giving it a try.

Those are my deep thoughts of the day, have good one and happy reading.

Monday, November 14

The Library

Today, while running errands after school I decided to stop at our local library. I can honestly say I completely under utilize it, but now that Christmas is upon us I'm doing the frugal thing and not buying books, I may be taking greater advantage of it. Not that I don't have a huge TBR pile, but for some reason this doesn't seem to count because nothing on it seems appealing, that is at least for now.

We picked up 2 kids videos, 2 kids books and 2 books for me. We didn't have much time and after picking out things for Junior I only had enough time to peruse the "popular reading" selections which included Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Match Me If You Can and a Mary Jo Putney that I can't seem to remember the title of, I haven't read MJP in a few years, but figured 'hey, it's a library book, I'm not paying for it.'

While Junior is in Tae Kwon Do tomorrow, I'm going back with a list. Now, I actually have to make a list.

Have a great night and happy reading.

Sunday, November 13

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

I bought this book for my husband the first week it came out. He has always been a SK fan and I knew he would like it, besides I figured I'd buy him a book so he couldn't complain about the pile I bought for myself.

He's (my husband not Stephen King) has been bugging me to read it since he finished it. Yesterday was a quiet day, so I decided to read it. I enjoyed how the story was told in conversational manner, by two old, small town Maine newspaper men. The cover picture has absolutely nothing to the story being told to the young female reporter, and she certainly isn't sitting in their office looking like the that. I still loved the "Pulp Fiction" cover.

If you blow up the cover you'll see the question "Would She Learn the Dead Man's SECRET?" No damn it, you never learn the "secret." And, yet that was the whole point to the story, some mysteries never have closure.

On the sidebar I put this book under "Okay" but maybe after thinking about it I'll move it to good, not great, but good. I like closure for my mysteries.

Have a great day and happy reading.

One more thing, how can "sidebar" not be in Blogger's spell check? Didn't the OJ trail make that word completely mainstream??

Friday, November 11

Hey Erika, one more thing...

I didn't want my comment back to you regarding Lydia Joyce's The Music of the Night to get lost because of all my other posts.

One of the things I like about this book is the heroine (Sarah) is from abject poverty, but that hasn't stopped her from rising to become a Lady's Companion. The heroine is strong on her own, she doesn't need Sebastian and in fact Sarah makes him the better person. And, that's why I consider this an "adult romance".

What I also like about this book--she comes from poverty, but it's not a Pygmalion/My Fair Lady Story. She has already pulled herself out of poverty on her own, with a help from a friend, who we never actually meet. She makes hard and sometimes practical choices and lives with them, without too many regrets and always looks forward not back. She knows what she wants out of life and takes the paths that will get her there.

To be honest, Sebastian is an idiot at times and the revenge plot line doesn't ever show him in a favorable light.

It's an interesting book. I'm not trying to talk you into, just explain why for me it's an "adult romance" and why it works. I'm not on the AAR message boards very often, I'm usually over there checking out reviews. I'm kind of assuming "adult" is being used as a euphemism for "non-virgin" which would also work in this case.

A Couple of Kid Tales

I'm once again going to regale everyone with tales of my cute kid.

On the way to school the other day I told my son I was going to get my hair colored while he was in school. He sat there very quiet for a minute and then asked "Red, green or brown?" When I told him brown, he told me I should color it orange--that's his favorite color.

Monday while I was out running an errand I left my husband home alone with Junior. Hubby was getting changed and Junior was on his stomach, in the middle of the living room drawing pictures on a giant pad of paper. Somehow while my husband was upstairs for 5 minutes (so he says) our son managed to take magic markers and draw on himself green raccoon eyes, huge red clown lips, blued the top of his hands and put pink on his palms. I wish hubby had taken a picture, but he was so worried it wouldn't come off, he didn't think of it.

Two days later his palms were still pink, the rest of him washed off that night. I guess I shouldn't complain, it could have been worse, one of the boys in his Tae Kwon Do class is platinum blonde and he colored his hair with red marker and it didn't come out, he had a red patch for a week.

Thursday, November 10

You could have knocked me over with a feather...

Yesterday, when I was opening several days worth of mail over at my yahoo account (I'm really bad about getting over there, it's like having a Post Office box and never stopping to check your mail) I found one with this title:

Romancing The Blog Guest Invitation

To be honest, it took me completely by surprise, a very pleasant surprise. At this point I have no idea what I'm going to write, but I don't think it will compare with todays column The Poisoned Nipple Theory (aka TPNT)--LOL, great column.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Wednesday, November 9

The Music of the Night by Lydia Joyce

Lydia Joyce has an amazing writing voice, so different from anyone else writing historical romance that at times she is shocking and refreshing at the same time. The Music of the Night is a rare gem in historical romances, a sophisticated adult romance.

I picked this out of the AAR review:

...I think some readers accustomed to the lighter and far less complex general run of historical romances today may find the book a tad overwritten. But, this, fellow readers, is how it’s supposed to be – complicated, challenging, sexy, and altogether adult.

There is so much going on in this book, I'm afraid to comment too much, simply put the story is packed with well developed characters and plot twists that any comment may give away too much information.

There are 2 things that keep me from saying this is a perfect book -- 1. Revenge is the driving force of the story and at times overpowers the relationship between the h/h. It also leaves me questioning whether or not I even like the hero. But, then the heroine is so different, so intelligent, so practical and on one level accepting of her lot in life and yet is constantly trying to improve herself and her life, that I'm left not really caring whether or not I like the hero, because she has become my heroine. 2. The ending is rushed and the epilogue isn't needed, and to be honest a little sappy, and I would have rather been left to my own imagination.

If you're looking for a dark, gothic styled, sophisticated romance, with well developed characters and interesting story--try this one.

I'm done gushing--LOL.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

Monday, November 7

Is this true?

So, tonight I'm watching HGTV's House Hunters International while I'm stamping "Merry Christmas" on the inside of 50 cards and I hear something I thought was a little strange.

This couple was looking for an apartment in Paris (they were living in Portland and were retiring) and the wife said that in France when you go to get a mortgage a full physical is required and your interest rates are determined by how healthy you are (but it doesn't matter if you smoke) and I wonder, gee, do they do credit checks too or doesn't that matter??

They also said that the average apartment in Paris is about the equivalent of $350,000. I don't think you can find a cardboard box in NYC for that. The apartments were great, but the kitchens were teeny tiny, and is purple a popular color for French water closets?? They found a cool apartment close to Moulin Rouge, it even had a huge patio.

A couple of updates

Just a couple of updates--Junior's stomach virus is gone and we found an allergy medication that doesn't gag him--it was a good day at our house--LOL.

I'm officially on reading hold. For some reason, which I can not explain, I decided to make our Christmas Cards this year (rubber stamp project)--what the heck was I thinking??? I also decided to make some Christmas gifts, memory pillows for some of the ladies in the family. And, I can't do anything while Junior is awake, tried it over the weekend and he ink all over himself.

I'll probably be doing a little reading early in the morning, so maybe I'll get a few books in this month. Right now I'm reading the new Lydia Joyce, The Music of the Night. I'm about a third of the way finished, it's very good, I really like her writing style, but I'm not really sure where it's going, which I guess is a good thing.

Have a good one, happy reading.

Wicked Storms

Last night the storm front that set off those horrible tornados in Indiana and Kentucky came through our area of NY. Fall and winter thunderstorms are amazing, I don't know if it's because there are no leaves on the trees to mute the glow of the lighting, but last night the sky was pure white light when lightning struck and the thunder was so loud it shook the house.

Sunday, November 6

Sick Mode

Never believe a 4 year old when he says "I'm not going to throw up."

We've now spent the last several days in sick mode. The poor child has chronic post nasal drip caused by allergies, unfortunately this makes him sick to his stomach and add to that a real stomach virus and we have a recipe for disaster. For the past 2 days he's been eating the BRAT (bananas, rice, apples, toast) only we don't have any bananas in the house so I guess we would call it the RAT diet.

He actually has an incredibly sensitive stomach and we've only discovered one allergy medication that he will keep down and it's no longer available because it's being reformulated, whatever that means. All I know is I called several pharmacies looking for it and no one has it. Tomorrow we are back to the pediatrician for samples of one they think he'll keep down.

I'm done whining about my son being sick.

I reread Susan Squires' The Companion this weekend. I couldn't remember whether or not Langley from The Hunger was in it. Beatrix was, but Langley wasn't, though there is a nameless reference to him and she is anxious to get back to Amsterdam. For some reason I find myself wanting to see the characters from previous books almost as if to verify that the HEA is real. I'm trying to find a copy of The Only One which is an anthology from a couple of years ago that is part of this series. Can you tell I'm getting a little obsessive about the whole thing??--LOL

Have a great night and happy reading.

Saturday, November 5

Ouch, bet that hurt!!

I found this in our local paper this morning:

Jury rules against woman in genital gluing

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A Westmoreland County jury on Friday ordered a woman to pay $46,200 to her ex-boyfriend for gluing his genitals to his abdomen.

Jurors found in favor of Kenneth Slaby of Pittsburgh in his civil case against Gail O'Toole of Murrysville after three days of testimony and ordered the payment for pain, suffering and emotional distress, according to television station KDKA.

"For all the pain and suffering I've been through, and the embarrassment, I don't think it's enough," Slaby told reporters after the verdict.
Slaby's lawsuit said the two broke up in 1999 after dating for 10 months, and he began dating someone else. After he broke up with his other girlfriend, Slaby said, O'Toole invited him over to her home on May 7, 2000, where he fell asleep.

He said he woke up to find that O'Toole had used Super Glue to stick his genitals to his abdomen, glued his buttocks together and spelled out a profanity on his back in nail polish.

Slaby said O'Toole told him that her actions were payback for their breakup, and he had to walk a mile to a gas station to call for help. He pressed charges and O'Toole pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and spent six months on probation.

But O'Toole's attorney contended that the incident was nothing more than part of the couple's adventurous, consensual sex.

© 2005 The Associated Press.

Friday, November 4

Sacrament by Susan Squires

I've finished 2 books in the last couple of days, Not So Innocent by Laura Lee Guhrke was the first. It was a good book, set in the late 1890s with a psychic heroine and a Scotland Yard Inspector with murder, mayhem and a Jack The Ripperesque villain.

I decided to read this one before Susan Squires' Sacrament, I'm afraid I'm going to vampire myself out, since I've never been a fan of Feehan or Kenyon and I had a tendency to base my opinion of the vampire romances by their works.

I started Sacrament last night and finished it while waiting to pick Junior up after school. I really enjoyed this book, and yet I don't think it was as good as The Companion and The Hunger. There is an underlying feeling of anxiety and dread as you're reading which is very compelling. I think TC and TH take the feeling of dread one step further which made them scarier books.

Off to read the new Lydia Joyce, picked it up at B&N today.

Have a great weekend and happy reading.

Wednesday, November 2

Sick Day

Today Junior was supposed to go on a field trip to a local volunteer firehouse, but he got sick in the parking lot of his school this morning and had to come home. He was heart broken, so heart broken I cried right along with him. There is nothing worse than seeing your child so unhappy. But, we stopped and got Coke and Gatorade and that cheered him up.

Tuesday, November 1

Mr. Incredible...aka so, you wanted pictures...

Snack time during our school party, please note the tiny cupcakes with spiderwebs--oh, and the kid's cute too.

Frozone isn't Mr. Incredible's only superhero friend, Batman is his other bestest friend in the whole world, aka Michael.

Working out, getting ready for lifting all that candy.

Going door to door is serious business.

No "trick or treat," no candy. That's the rule.

The night's finished and Petey Cat and Mr. Incredible are heading to bed.

Sunday, October 30

And the chaos begins...

Tomorrow is Halloween, big surprise right. How did this sneak up on me?

Halloween has always been a hectic day for us. For the years I worked and commuted it was a project to get home by 6:00. Our town has a curfew that allows trick or treat between 6:00 and 8:00 in the evening. Which is great because nobody shows up at your door before 6:00 or after 8:00, the local police are good about enforcing this.

Since having Junior we've had my parents for dinner on Halloween so they can see him in his costume. Well, this has now extended to my whole family and I spent the day cooking for tomorrow, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming and moping the downstairs of our house, that was between running in and out of the house helping my husband finish roofing the front porch, he finally got back to that project, but that's a whole other story. I also raked leaves and cleaned out the flower beds for winter and made sure the front porch was cleared of fishing poles, bikes etc.

At school each family is asked to help out with one school party each year, somehow I was talked into Halloween, last year I did Christmas. I volunteered to make mini cupcakes and decorate them with teeny tiny spider webs. What planet do I live on?? I finally finished frosting and decorating at 9:00 tonight.

Tomorrow before leaving for school, I have to clean the bathroom, make the beds and fix Junior's "Mr. Incredible" mask. He ripped it while visiting his Nany and Grandpa to show off the costume. I also have to make breakfast for everyone, and hubby's lunch and promised to make a batch of cookies all before leaving the house at 8:30.

After school we're going to a friends house for a little party and some trick or treating, we have to be home by 3:30 so I can have dinner on the table by 5:00. Junior knows trick or treat starts at 6:00 and will be counting the bongs on mantle clock in the living room in anticipation.

Tuesday we'll be going to 7:00 am Mass and heading to The Christmas Tree Shop. It's about an hour away. Need to start Christmas shopping. And we'll need to be home in time for Tae Kwon Do class

Just typing all that made me tired, I'm off to bed.

PS--We still have to carve the pumpkins for the front steps.

Saturday, October 29

Susan Squires Rocks

Well, it seems I may be back on the reading track.

I finished Susan Squires' The Hunger last night.

This book is great, a prequel to The Companion, and stars Beatrix Lisse, a 700+ year old vampire, whose vampire territory is Regency London, and John Staunton, the Earl of Langley, British spy. The evil Asharti once again must be stopped. It's a page turner, it's dark, it's erotic, it's compelling and at times even gory. Exactly what I want in a vampire story.

I am amazed at how Ms. Squires pushes romance writing envelopes and doesn't seem to follow any of the "unwritten" rules.

After visiting her website I realized Sacrament falls within this series time line and includes characters from this book. It's next on my TBR pile and I plan on rereading The Companion too.

Have a spooky weekend, and scary reading.

Thursday, October 27

Today's B&N Finds

Not a large haul, but I think 3 good finds.

I couldn't pass up a 50th Anniversary Edition of Harold and The Purple Crayon.

And, I've already finished Wendy Wax's Hostile Makeover and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a Chick Lit meets Romance, nicely done.

I'm off to bed, happy reading.

A Strange Month

It's been a rather odd reading month for me. The list of books I've read is rather short considering I've been reading about 20+ books a month for the past few. I'll be lucky if I read 15 this month--I'm at 12 so far with only 5 days to go and I'm not really in the mood to read. The whole month has been this way, not really in the mood, but doing it anyway.

The list:

It Happened One Autumn -- Lisa Kleypas
Private Demon -- Lynn Viehl
Northern Lights -- Nora Roberts
The Champion -- Elizabeth Chadwick
The Bargain -- Jane Ashford
Bride Needs Groom -- Wendy Markham
Short Straw Bride -- Dallas Schulz
A Singular Lady -- Megan Frampton
Strange Attractions -- Emma Holly
The Dark Queen -- Susan Carroll
The Courtesan -- Susan Carroll
Crazy Hot -- Tara Janzen

Four of the books were over 500 pages, Northern Lights, The Champion, The Dark Queen and The Courtesan.

What makes it even more strange--I'm enjoying what I'm reading, even while pushing myself to actually do it. But, it has been a nice mix of books, which is probably why I'm enjoying what I read despite not being in the mood:

  • Medieval -- 1
  • Ren. France -- 2
  • Trad. Regency -- 1
  • Regency -- 1
  • Victorian -- 1
  • Western -- 1
  • Romantic Suspense -- 2
  • Contemporary -- 1
  • Vampire -- 1
  • Erotic Romance -- 1

Not a bad mix considering normally half of what I read end up being Regency period historicals.

Well, for what it's worth, that's this months stats. What are your stats this month?

Have a great day and happy reading.

One more thing, I'm heading to B&N today, so my pledge not to buy anything new lasted about a week. What can I say, I'm weak.

Tuesday, October 25

The Courtesan by Susan Carroll

Early last week or the week before ReneeW blogged about Susan Carroll's The Dark Queen, knowing I wanted this book and The Courtesan I ran out last Monday and picked up both at B&N. After an incredibly busy week, I finally finished both books. Renee gave TDQ a B+ and her review is right on, a very good book but not perfect.

Yesterday morning I finished The Courtesan. It rises above TDQ, what a fantastic book. There is a wonderful review at AAR . Here is a quote from the review that completely describes how I felt about the book:

This novel is almost 600 pages long and includes court intrigue, witchcraft, potential war, religious persecution and yes, a romance. Given all that, I would not have been surprised if it had bogged down at some point, but it never did. Ms. Carroll managed the various story threads with skill and grace. I read this in a night, unable to put it down. Though the plot and setting made this read more like straight historical fiction (with the very slightest touch of the paranormal), the author never forgot the romance. I was intellectually intrigued and emotionally satisfied right through the slightly over-the-top climax. Not many books can do that.

When I sat down to read yesterday morning I told myself I was only going to read for 20 minutes, I was so sucked into the climax (the last 100+/-) pages I didn't look up for 45 minutes and spent the next 20 scrambling to take a shower and get Junior to school on time, somehow we made it by the skin of our teeth.

The next book The Silver Rose is due out in February. I can't wait!!!

Have a great day and happy reading.

Sunday, October 23

A couple of interesting stops...

I haven't been blogging in a couple of days, but I wanted to post a few things I found interesting.

I found an interesting article through Meljean's blog. I'm not the only person looking for horror with romance. She has a link to an article by Joyce Ellen Armond at Speculative Romance Online.

Yesterday AngieW an interesting column at RTB about the pushing of the sex envelope in erotic romance.

Got to go and get in the shower, we might make 7:30 mass.

Have a great day and happy, joyous reading.

Thursday, October 20

Banned Books

I've now seen this at both Jay's and Nicole's and decided to bring it over here too.

List of the top 110 banned books. Bold the ones you've read. Italicize the ones you've read part of. Read more. Convince others to read some.

#1 The Bible
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
#23 Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Das Kapital by Karl Marx
#37 Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Emile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Wednesday, October 19

Boys will be boys...

I'm always amazed by what seems to be attached to the Y chromosome.

Most people witness the ability to make all sorts of car noises at an early age and somehow all boys seem to be able to pick up a stick and turn it into a gun, knife, sword... you get the idea. But there are other things attached to that Y chromosome I thought were learned, but I was wrong.

The other day Junior is getting ready for a shower and he announces he has to "poop." So, I turn off the shower and put him on the bowl, leave the room, because he needs privacy and when he's done he washes his hands and comes out of the bathroom. I go in to restart the shower and he heads into our room climbs up on my husband and the conversation goes something like this:

Jr.: Daddy, smell me.
Dad: Good boy, your hands smell clean.
Jr: No Daddy smell my hiney.

Another conversation between father and son:

Jr: Excuse me, I did a backward burp (that's what Junior calls passing gas--he came up with that one one his own)
Dad: You're excused
Jr. Hey Daddy, can you smell it?

Bathroom humor, it's part of the Y Chromosome.

Tuesday, October 18

Back to the books.

Monday while Junior was in school, I did my 2 mile walk as fast as could so I had enough time to run to B&N before he needed to be picked up. I was on a mission. I couldn't wait another day, not another minute for Susan Carroll's The Dark Queen and The Courtesan. Somehow I knew these books wouldn't be in romance and I found them immediately in "Fiction & Literature." How did I know this? The covers are too lovely to be romance, but have a wonderful "historical fiction" look to them. I don't normally care much about covers, but why can't historical romances have covers this beautiful??

Forget the covers, notice I'm easily sidetracked. I'm about half way through The Dark Queen and it's definitely a romance. I'm enjoying it, but not finding enough time to read. Of course, if I had spent my time reading instead of entertaining myself over at, I might actually be finished with TDQ and have started The Courtesan.

Holly Lisle has a great column over on RTB. I pulled this from the end of the column:

...Passion, heart, faith, hope, courage, and soul, tucked within a framework of strong characters, a tight story, and from time to time, a good laugh.

I just love this description of what type of book she's looking for. I realized this is what fuels my obsession with books, I'm constantly looking for the perfect keeper.

After my mad dash to B&N the other day, I've decided I'm getting a little out of control. I'm not buying anything until I get my TBR pile down a little. So how long is this going to last--I give myself a week maybe two. I know, I'm weak and pathetic--LOL.

Have a great night and happy, "joy"ful reading.

Joy of Joys

I've been tagged by Megan to search out the number of times I've used the word joy.

"There's no joy in Mudville" is the title of one blog. And, I've used the expression "joy of joys" twice in a rather sarcastic tone--LOL.

Okay, I'm a sarcastic toad who has no appreciation for the "JOYS" in my life--LOL. Well, that's not entirely true, I appreciate them I just don't blog about them using that term. Junior is my greatest "joy" and right now he's bugging me to get off the computer, so I've got to go.

I use "enjoy" and "happy" on a regular basis do those count?

Let's tag Cindy, Erika, and Amanda.

Have a great day and "joy"ful reading, hehehe.


Thanks to Jay I discovered I've spent the last hour discovering all sorts of things about myself.

  1. My IQ is 140 but I'm logically below average (one of my college professors told me I thought in circles, so I guess this one is right--LOL)
  2. My inner hair color is purple.
  3. My power color is red-orange.
  4. I believe in God and my religion (but I don't believe everyone needs to be part of my religion)
  5. My blog should be purple.
  6. I passed the US Citizen test with 9 out of 10, but I can't figure out what I got wrong.
  7. I'm 50% weird.
  8. My pimp name is Sugarlips Dynomite.
  9. I'm like Mexican Food, spicy yet dependable.
  10. I was a red headed cannibal who died of dysentery in a previous life.
  11. I'm so observant I'm lucky I remember to put underwear on in the morning--that's really bad.

Thanks to Megan I'm supposed to be counting how often I've used the word "joy" in my blog. I'm afraid each time I've used it was rather in a sarcastic tone. I'll post the results later.

Monday, October 17

Can't figure it out...

It seems like I'm constantly running behind and because of this seem to have no interest in blogging about what I'm reading. I'm reading and enjoying a lot of what I am reading and yet I have no desire to talk about the books. This is one of the reasons I changed the sidebar to list the books by how much I've liked them.

This weekend I finished Megan Frampton's first book, A Singular Lady, it was very good. I like Megan's writing voice, it's a very nice Traditional Regency. The characters are quirky and fun which gives it an interesting twist to Traditional Regencies.

I also read Emma Holly's Strange Attraction, this was a extremely well written book, but the subject matter isn't what one would call a typical romance or romantica, it's really is straight erotica and yet it has a strange HEA, I guess that's where the title comes from--LOL. I'll leave everyone to search out a synopsis for themselves.

Got to go, it's a school day and we need to be out in 1/2 an hour and I've still to showere.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Sunday, October 16

In case of nightmares...

Well, it's 7:45 and my son should have been in bed half an hour ago, but my husband is telling him the story of The Headless Horseman. He's only four, if he has any nightmares my husband is a dead man.

Thursday, October 13

The rushing rising river...

The Wallkill River is normally a fairly quiet meandering river, not now.

And the rain, rain, rain...

came down, down down...

My son and I have been singing this wonderful Winnie The Pooh song for days.

Now, I know a few weeks ago I said smack me if I complain about the weather, but I think I'm officially allowed to now. Since Saturday we've had over 15 inches of rain and the river behind our house is flooding, big time. Thank God, we live on the high side and it's flooding across the river into fields and marshes. There is no risk to our home and most of the homes in our neighborhood, we would need a flood of biblical proportions to actually flood as high as our back door. We had an incredibly dry summer, so much so we've had a drought watch on for months. Well, we're all done with drought watches and warnings and the grass is now green again, which is rather nice since it hasn't been green in months.

The nice side of being stuck in the house, is not really being stuck, we've been rather lucky, we were able to get to school yesterday without a problem, today we are going to 2 book stores, the grocery store and Karate school. None of the roads we need will be flooded and since we're not made of sugar we wont melt. The down side Junior Barnes is crawling the walls, hopefully Karate will help.

It is giving me a little time to update my blog sidebar and now I'm going blog hopping for a little while.

Have a good one and those of you in the Northeast, stay dry.

Tuesday, October 11

Halloween Costumes

Yesterday was spent Halloween costume shopping. This is the first time we've done this.

For Junior's first 4 Halloweens I made his costumes. The first 3 were characters from the Wizard of Oz--The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion and The Tin Man. We only have digital pictures of him as The Scarecrow. I don't have a working scanner or I'd load the other two, both were real cute. Last year he announced he wanted to be Lucy from Charlie Brown's "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown." The picture below is from when we visited my BIL's Halloween display, the skeleton sings the theme to Disney's Haunted House and the jaw moves--very cleverly done.

Scarecrow--2 1/2 months old

Ghost witch aka Lucy from Charlie Brown 3 years old, from behind he looked just like Lucy running down the street--absolutely too cute.

This year he wanted something different each time we asked. So, I took him shopping. We hit 4 stores before finding a costume at Party City. When he saw "Mr. Incredible" he announced "that's it!!"

I've had to hide the costume, he want to wear it around the house, had to take it to Grandma's and Grandpa's last night and try it on for them. His official unveiling will be Halloween morning for school, I'll post pictures then.

A Little FYI for Authors and Publishers...

While reading Wendy Markham's Bride Needs Groom I discovered one little, insignificant pet peeve that bugs me.

The Italian language consists of 21 letters, the 5 missing letters are J K W X Y. Here's a link to a teaching website that explains in nice simple pictures that J K W X Y are foreign letters and rarely used in Italian.

The hero's last name in this book is "Chickalini" which I guess could have been Americanized when the family came from Italy. For some reason this always bugs me, I'm 4th generation Italian American, the Italian side of my family has been in the States since the 1860s and I knew this. Somewhere along the publishing process someone has to know this, right?

Okay, that's it my pet peeve mini rant of the day.

The book's not bad, so every time I come to "Chickalini" I think someone on Ellis Island screwed up.

There's no joy in Mudville...

or Yankeedom. Our only consolation, the Yankees lasted 2 more games than the dreaded Red Sox.

There's always next year.

Monday, October 10

A Day Late...

I don't understand how life at times gets so busy. I spent the weekend catching up with this weeks RTBcolumns.

KarenTempleton's column about small town settings is very good. I live in a small town and love it. I'm a sucker for any book set in small town America, and I agree with Cynthia, the supporting characters shouldn't be "characters." I think the Sheik thing has to do with the exotic and different.

I loved Deeanne Gist's column about receiving her the first bound copy of her first book. I thought the "what's for dinner" questions rather apropos since it's the first question my husband asks almost everyday. There's only one other question that drives me crazy on a regular basis. If I get up at night to go to the bathroom, he asks "Where are you going?" Where the heck does he think I'm going at 2:00 am, out for pizza?

Nicole's first official column is about cats, a subject I adore, since we've always had at least one cat my entire life. Right now we only have one, Petey Cat that likes to sleep in sinks, begs like a dog and is 20 pounds of absolute loving affection. We think he thinks he's a dog. I think Karen Robards has a couple of books with interesting cats. I'll have to search it out--my sister will know, she's a huge KR fan.
Anti-heros are the topic of Kathleen O'Reilly's column, and I wish I had read it when it was first posted, I probably would have commented. I like her list of favorite heros, but I have to agree none are anti-heros:

My favorite heroes ever are: Johanna Lindsey’s James Mallory from A Gentle Rogue, Gideon from Amanda Quick’s Ravished, Lyon from Julie Garwood’s The Lion’s Lady. I asked some friends about their favorite heroes: Roarke from Nora Robert’s In Death series, Dane Hollister from Linda Howard’s Dream Man, and yes, lest we forget, Wolf Mackenzie from Mackenzie’s Mountain.

These hero's may be atypical, but they're not "anti." For me an "anti-hero" can just as easily be the villain of a story instead of the hero and is often just that, the villain of an early story. I love Anne Stuart's romantic suspense heros, they're always of questionable morals and that makes them fascinating. But, for me the biggest anti-hero is Graelam DeMoreton of Catherine Coulter's Song series. In the first books Warrior's Song (originally titled Chandra) he is the villain, he's not much better in his own book, Firesong and it takes the next two in the series to fully redeem him. Now, that's an anti-hero, not necessarily a favorite, but definitely an anti.

One more thing about anti-heros--Hans Solo is not an anti-hero!!

Loved Rosario's column about anthologies. She is so right about length. If done right a novella can be fantastic, but try to include to much and it's horrible. And, just because an author writes great full-size novels it doesn't mean that ability is transfered to shorter ones.

There have been some great columns over on RTB, I've got to try and get there everyday instead of once a week.

Have a great day, and happy reading.

There are days I hate Blogger!!!

Once again I've got a long blog waiting to post and it's sitting in draft neverneverland. Every time I go to edit and post it I'm getting blog not found. It's incredibly frustrating!!

Friday, October 7

The Mom part of Romance Reading Mom

I'm in a reading slump, don't know why, but nothing on the TBR pile is appealing right now. All the back cover blurbs are leaving me rather blah, so I'm blogging about being a mom instead.

I know I'm extremely lucky--I can be home full time at this point in our lives, and that I have a choice in the situation. I don't know how working women do it, and function on any level of normalcy.

I'm up early (5:30-6:00), make breakfast for everyone and pack lunch/school snacks. Get hubby out of the house by 7:30, on school days (Mon, Wed, Fri) Junior and I are out by 8:25. While he's in school, I walk 2-3 miles and run errands. We come home have lunch, I clean, cook and we play outside or go to the park. Junior has dinner between 4:30 and 5:00 and we eat between 5:30 and 6:00. He sits down and has a snack while we eat, but we completely avoid the "witching hour" by feeding him a little early. Junior needs a shower and is in bed between 7:00 and 7:30 and I get to read from 8:00 until I fall asleep, usually around 11:00. Tuesdays and Thursdays are slower as he only has karate in the afternoons.

Where is there time for a job in all of that? My SIL worked full time with her older child and is now home full time with her second child (there's a 7 year difference in their age) she swears it's easier to work--is that possible?

Wednesday, October 5

Another Good Vampire Book

I fully expected Lynn Viehl's Private Demon to be a good book. I enjoyed the first one If Angels Burn and thought it was a good set up for a series.

The odd thing is I'm not really sure these are romances, they have romantic elements--sex, but the build up of a relationship really isn't there. I'm left wondering if there is a true relationship being built. Cypien and Alex from If Angels Burn play a major part in this book and there relationship does seem to be a true love match, but you didn't necessarily feel that way at the end of their own book. Private Demon actually has a kind of strange love triangle--another vampire has been in love from a far with the heroine, Jema Shaw. The hero is Thierry Durand, he's the vampire who goes crazy at the end of If Angels Burn. Alex's brother John plays an important role in this book and he has left the priesthood since the end of the IAB

These books come really close to what I ultimately want in a vampire romance--horror. I guess this is why I like them so much. There is an underlying sinisterness and evilness that is very compelling. It's a good vs. evil story, but you're really not sure who is truly good--the vampires or the Brethern hunting them.

Reading Private Demon and If Angels Burn is like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle without a picture to follow. I have no idea ultimately where Ms. Viehl is leading and that makes me want more.